The Battle Within

I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant, and lay low the insolence of tyrants. -Isaiah 13:11

Dear members and friends,

For the past few weeks, I could not help but to reflect on the cruelty of wars and the danger of dictatorship. I am praying every day for Ukraine and that this cruelty will end soon. From history, one thing I find to be hypocritical is that most tyrants or dictators never stand at the frontline of war, leading the army. Rather, they stayed safely inside their palace while sending other people to the frontline, all to fulfill their selfish desires. 

Swedenborg insists that the desire to control is at the very bottom of hell. The desire to control is dangerous because when it occupies one’s mind, one completely believes that whatever one chooses to do is not only right, but also justifiably good for the public. Therefore, those spirits who dwell at the bottom of hell fully believe that they are not humans, but gods. This is how and why many emperors throughout history – who were dictators and tyrants – did many horrible things to the people, and yet had no remorse or regret.

Applying this to our personal spirituality, what we need to pay close attention to is the way we feel. Often, people claim to be rational and logical, and yet they are overtaken by a single emotion or feeling. This single emotion might act like a dictator in our mind, causing us to be at war with whatever is standing in our way. That is why the advice of all wise saints agrees that we need to calm our mind by cooling off all charged emotions in order to see matters clearly.

My brothers and sisters in God, let us invite the presence of our loving God within and around us. Let us come into prayer without being driven by strong feeling and emotion, and see the way our Lord leads.      

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee